cover image The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared

The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared

Mark I. Nickerson and Joshua S. Goldstein. Skyhorse, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-63220-419-6

Nickerson, a Massachusetts psychotherapist who specializes in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, and Goldstein (Winning the War on War), American University emeritus professor of international relations, relate the tragic story of Nickerson’s former patient, Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, who committed suicide not long after returning from a horrific 2003 tour of duty in Iraq. Telling this story in the first person, Nickerson provides background on PTSD, including the shameful way the American public, the federal government, and the old-line veterans’ organizations treated veterans of the Vietnam War. Neglect and scorn led to disproportionately high numbers of PTSD among Vietnam veterans, and though veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not return home to the same kind of negative reception as Vietnam vets did, far too many have had significant post-war emotional problems. The bulk of the book is an account of the Lucey family’s mission in the wake of the suicide, trying to promote “the healing process” by telling Lucey’s story “in the hopes that others might reach a different outcome.” Nickerson admirably sheds light on a sad story as he offers practical advice for veterans and families coping with post-war emotional trauma. [em](Jan.) [/em]